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FSK3531 Biomedicine for Engineers 12.0 credits

A crash course that covers a vast number of topics in physiology and cell biology. The main purpose is to enable the students, during their graduate studies and in the future career, to communicate with their colleagues/collaborators that have a biomedical background.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3531 (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Anatomy: Main structures and features of the human body (systems, organs, tissues).
Cell biology: Structural components of the cells. Basic principles of such cellular functions as transport, cell-to-cell communication and intracellular signaling, energy production, cell reproduction.
Physiology: Basic principles of the human body functions, covering the circulatory system, respiration, digestion, immune and endocrine system, acid-base homeostasis, water and salt balance.

Intended learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to give an introduction to biomedicine to PhD students with a background in physics or mathematics, who start to work in research areas closely related to biology, bioinformatics or medicine.
After the course the student should:

  • be able to communicate with research colleagues/collaborators that have a background in cell and molecular biology or in medicine
  • have a good knowledge about the structure of the human body and about its organ systems and tissues
  • understand the structure of animal cells and function of the cell organelles
  • recognize the structure of major classes of macromolecules in the body
  • have a good understanding of the major processes and structures involved in the transport within the animal cells and in the communication of the cells with each other and with the environment
  • have a good knowledge about the major processes and structures in the basis of circulation, respiration, digestion, immune defence, energy generation, regulation of acid-base and water-salt balance, hormone action and neuronal signaling, and cell reproduction
  • be able to discuss ethical problems in biomedical research

Course disposition

Lectures: 34 h
Seminar: 4 h

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Enrolled PhD student.

Recommended prerequisites

No prerequisites, except high-school biology, is required.


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  1. Despopoulos A., Silbernagl S.,Color Atlas of Physiology, Thieme.
  2. Alberts al.,Essential Cell Biology, Garland Science.

The editions used will be announced on the course webpage at least four weeks prior to start of the course.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale



  • INL1 - Assignment, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminar, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 8.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The course is examined by a written exam (TEN1; 8.0 university credits, grading P/F),  a hand-in assignment (an essay about the PhD student's research studies in relation to the course content; INL1; 2.0 university credits, grading P/F) and a presentation on a seminar (SEM1; 2.0 university credits, grading P/F).

Other requirements for final grade

INL1 - hand-in assignment, 2.0 university credits, grading P/F.
SEM1 - seminar, 2.0 university credits, grading P/F.
TEN1 - written exam, 8.0 university credits, grading P/F.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Hjalmar Brismar

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSK3531

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Marina Zelenina (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics